The Story behind That Time the Mediterranean Sea Disappeared

How could such a large body of water just have disappeared?
Loukia Papadopoulos

Did you know that at one point, the Mediterranean sea disappeared? Since the 1800s, scientists have been aware that the layers of the Mediterranean sea weren't just made out of the usual sediments.

Those layers are full of salt crystals. These types of salt deposits are found in places where bodies of water have dried up.

This suggests that at some point in history, the Mediterranean sea must have evaporated. 

"How could a body of water as big as the Mediterranean just...disappear? It would take decades and more than 1,000 research studies to even start to figure out the cause -- or causes -- of one of the greatest vanishing acts in Earth’s history," writes the video's description.

One theory proposed that the main water source to the Mediterranean had, at one point, been closed off. Today, this point is known as the Strait of Gibraltar. 

They called this water turn off the Messinian salinity crisis. However, they struggled to figure out how that source of water got turned off.

In the end, they came out with three hypotheses as to what could have happened. We won't tell you what they are here. You have to watch the video to find out yourself. All we'll tell you is that each is as riveting as the next.

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